Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 29 September-5 October 2010


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 September-5 October 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 September-5 October 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (29 September-5 October 2010)


United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 29 September-5 October, HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater remained mostly stable at about 150 m below the crater floor; periodically the lava rose 15-35 m above that level. Glow from the vent was also visible at night. A plume from the vent drifted mainly SW and deposited ash nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava that flowed through the TEB lava-tube system mainly fed the Puhi-o-Kalaikini ocean entry. A lava flow that broke out of the lava-tube system W of the end of Highway 130 on 26 September produced a flow E toward Kalapana Gardens that stalled on 28 September. Two days later a new breakout lava flow began near the end of Highway 130, just west of Kalapana Gardens subdivision. The flow sparked fires in a small, sparsely forested kipuka, and remained active through 4 October.

During 29 September-4 October, incandescence was visible from a skylight on the lava tube downslope from the rootless shield complex. A large skylight on top of a rootless shield, built over the TEB lava tube mid-way between the top of the pali and the TEB vent, also showed incandescence. On 29 September, lava began to erupt from a vent on the NW edge of Pu'u 'O'o crater and flowed E across the floor. The lava flow in Pu'u 'O'o crater continued to be active through the reporting period.

Geological Summary. Kilauea overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano in the island of Hawaii. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation since 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity at Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera until 1924. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1,500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and Southwest rift zones, which extend to the ocean in both directions. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone between 1983 and 2018 produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroyed hundreds of houses, and added new coastline.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)